Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced Wednesday that his government will intensify diplomatic efforts with Bolivia and Venezuela to get them to accept irregular immigrants expelled from Chile.
Chile, which faces uncontrolled irregular immigration, At the end of February, it reinforced its border in the north with Peru and Bolivia with a military contingent empowered to check identity, check baggage and even temporarily detain.
“Our priority is to protect the border,” Boric said from Colchane, 1,950 kilometers north of the Chilean capital, a border town where most of the irregular immigrants arriving from Bolivian territory arrive.
Boric said that he ordered Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren to reinforce talks with neighboring countries, especially with Bolivia, a country that does not receive irregular immigrants who arrive in Colchane from Bolivian territory.
Bolivia, with whom Chile has not had diplomatic relations since 1978, only receives expelled Bolivians and does not admit back citizens of other nationalities who used its territory to reach Chilean soil.
The Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, specified on Wednesday that there are more than 20,000 administrative expulsions of Venezuelans that Chile has not been able to carry out because Venezuela does not receive contracted flights to return them.
Deputy Jaime Araya explained that the alternative of sending them by bus is not viable either because the cost would amount to 2.7 million pesos (3,360 dollars) per person.
Boric said that he will talk with other leaders of the region so that they face together the problem of irregular immigration. At the end of the month, the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held in the Dominican Republic.
He also announced that bills that seek to make the bureaucratic procedures necessary to comply with administrative expulsions less cumbersome will be expedited in Congress. Currently, people have to be located and notified twice.
But expulsion decrees expire after 48 hours, forcing the government to restart the process.
The president concluded by noting that border control will also be extended to other clandestine border crossings that are not currently being monitored by the military and that recently began to be used.
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channel Youtube and activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and instagram.